During the Alberta Sheriffs first year after being given expanded authority a total of just under 1,500 impaired drivers have been taken away from Alberta’s highways in 2022.
The authority of Alberta Sheriffs was increased in 2021 to include investigating impaired driving and other criminal offenses so that Albertans can feel safer when driving on the province’s highways.
Sheriff Highway Patrol removed 1,471 impaired drivers from provincial highways. Since the sheriff’s authorities were expanded, a total of 2,224 impaired drivers have been removed from Alberta highways, or four every day.
Mike Ellis, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services says enhancing the authorities of the Sheriff Highway Patrol has been a successful step toward building safer communities for everyone in Alberta.
“With more than 30,000 km of provincial highways in their jurisdiction, the sheriffs have done tremendous work by removing more than 2,000 impaired drivers from our roads in less than two years. Expanding the sheriffs’ authorities has alleviated pressure for policing in rural Alberta, giving those officers more time to respond to urgent calls and provide the flexibility to keep our communities safer.”
Prior to 2021 if a sheriff suspected a driver was impaired, they were required to turn the investigation over to the local police service in most rural Alberta areas.
The Sheriff Highway Patrol’s enforcement priorities also include speeding, distracted driving, and commercial vehicle safety. In 2022, sheriffs wrote 66,326 tickets related to offenses in those areas and other traffic regulations.